This weekend I had the opportunity to travel to Heath, Texas for the Outlaw Training Camp. I was surrounded by amazing athletes the entire weekend and I got a lot of great instruction as well.

Friday night was a lifting session. Due to fabulous Dallas traffic I walked in about thirty minutes late as the group was in the middle of snatching. We snatched and clean and jerked. I still have a lot to work on with both movements. After just a few cues here and there, however, I could feel a big difference. I caught 140 overhead in the snatch and lost it standing up. I’m always slightly forward. Extremely frustrating, but I know by perfecting that I’m going to see my numbers jump big time. That would have been a five-pound PR. I did PR my clean and jerk at 175. I have cleaned 175 and jerked 175, but never together. My jerk still needs a lot of work, but they showed me some really helpful things that are going to make a big difference.

Saturday morning we started off with the last workout of The Open. I got to witness some pretty impressive scores go up. My motivation to nail the chest to bar butterfly is at an all time high. We went through two more wods that day. I walked away from Saturday with a good idea of some things to work on, which is exactly what I wanted to get out of the weekend. Motivation!

Sunday was started off back squatting. I love squatting. However, I do some things incorrectly. I’m excited to fix those flaws and see my strength increase even more. Post squatting we did some gymnastics work. Handstand holds, walks, shoulder touches and muscle ups. I’m trying to work on fading back into my muscle up rather than resisting into the dip. I did it a couple of times fairly well, but it feels very different. It is going to take a lot of work, but I know it will be a helpful thing to be able to do. We finished off with a gymnastics WOD of hspu’s, muscle ups and rowing. I was happy to move through the last wod very well. I have never considered any of those movements strengths of mine, but I felt really strong in all of them. Funny how working on your weaknesses actually makes you better. 🙂

Minus the nasty rope burns on my right leg, I feel sore, but great. I learned so much this weekend and I think it gave me a really good boost going into the next two months before regionals! A big thanks to Rudy, Laura, CrossFit Heath and the rest of the Outlaw crew for  putting on such a great weekend!


I Heart Toes to Bar

That title is sarcastic…..

Last week shaped up to be a great week. Lots more confidence building and a lot more “I better keep my butt in gear” moments. The best of both worlds.

This week I made a trip to Fort Worth to do Open Wod 12.3 with Candice Ruiz. We had decided before the Open we would try to get together for at least one of the five. I’ve really enjoyed competing with her this “pre season”. We have similar strengths and weaknesses and we push each other a lot. I like that.

We decided we would get together for the third wod before it was posted. I’m so incredibly glad it was this one. Being 18 minutes long, it was awesome to have some good motivation. CrossFit Iron Horse made my husband and I feel incredibly welcome. They have a great facility. If you are in the Fort Worth area you must check them out. There was a big crew going through the wod that Sunday. Lots of strong guys and gals! A big thank you to all of you that cheered us on and made us feel right at home.

I finished 12.3 with 407 reps. I thought going in that toes to bar would be the limiting factor for me. I couldn’t have been more right. I kept them together the first five or six rounds. Broke into two sets for two rounds ( I think…it is still a blur) and then went to triples and  mostly singles. I had four no reps. Ugh. I’ve been working really hard on this movement. I have zero flexibility in my hamstrings, glutes and hips. It really affects me in a negative way. Shocker.  As much as they have improved, I still have a long way to go. HQ loves toes to bar. I hate them. Hate them. Hate them. Hate. My lungs were never an issue. Box jumps and push press/jerk went great. I broke up the last set of push press into 8 and 4 because I got out in front and off-balance.

Candice and I finished just 11 reps from each other. We stayed together going back and forth the whole time. She is sitting in 3rd in South Central and I’m sitting in 5th in the North Central. Nevermind that someone brought me up in a discussion on the leaderboard comments page. I actually don’t disagree with the argument, but found it funny that people are getting worked up about this stuff with two wods to go.  All I can say is that it made me laugh and the scores mean nothing until we get to regionals and everyone goes head to head. That is when the fun starts.

I’m ready for a dead lift or front squat. I want my legs to burn! Come on 12.4. Hopefully I don’t regret what I’m asking for…

This past week was full of PR’s….thruster, back squat, Grace and Helen. Grace and Helen have plagued me for a long time. I just never seem to improve. My butterfly pull ups are still a work in progress, but are coming a long way. I made it through Helen keeping them together and not having to go to a regular kip. Progress! Typically I lose them fast when they are paired with pretty much anything else. This week I had a big break through in two wods with the butterfly! I know I will need it come regionals.

I’m hitting my goals and keeping my training in check. I’m not letting the leaderboard get to me, even though I love checking out all the scores and other regions. I admit it, I leaderboard. Thankfully this year it isn’t making me a crazy psycho. I’m so proud of all my friends who are doing so incredibly well!

For the next few weeks I’m focusing a lot on running. My other favorite. I’m also starting a new squat and bench cycle. YAY! This should be fun.

Double Grace

Tuesday was a day of legs.

Oh how I love heavy back squat. 10 x 2 @ 220. I’ve been working hard and staying upright out of the bottom. When things get heavy my core breaks down a little. It is getting better!

I have always had a love hate relationship with Grace. Tuesday was a double Grace day. AM – Grace, PM – Squat Clean Grace w/ 105#. I’ve been dreading it for quite a while. In theory,  I love the workout. 95# clean and jerks are fun. However, I never seem to get in the right rhythm or I burn out too fast. I’m never happy with my performance on Grace.

Typically, I just go until I can’t hold onto the bar anymore. This time, I decided to play around with my rep scheme more. I’ve been doing that a lot more in my wods. I used to just think “go unbroken”. However, “unbroken” isn’t always the fastest when your reps slow down. Sure, I keep moving, but now I want to be fast.

I decided to keep up sets of five as long as I could handle it. From there I would go to three and after that singles. I think I found my groove! I PR’ed Grace by 18 seconds, which I think is huge! The best part, was that I still felt calm and in control at the end. I wasn’t on the ground dying.

That evening I came back to the gym to go through some sled drags and 2008 Games Grace. We used 105#. They actually used 100# at the Games that year. Full squat clean and overhead. I got in a great rhythm and stayed close to the bar. To say my legs were on fire by the end of the day is an understatement. Thank goodness for TED hose!

Community and The Open

Last year when CrossFit announced that there was not going to be a sectional, but rather an online “CrossFit Open”, I was really bummed. I loved the sectional. Our sectional in 2010 was one of my favorite CrossFit competitions ever. There were tons of people who competed for the first time and it had that electric competitive atmosphere that CrossFitters love. It also had a horrible burpee/sled pull wod that my legs did not love.

How was The Open going to replicate that? How was everyone going to be held to the same standard? Although I still miss going head to head with all the girls in what would be our sectional area, I’m starting to love The Open. Here is why….

CrossFit OKC has thirty-eight individuals competing in The Open. Last year we took two individuals and a team of six to regionals. We had an entourage of what felt like one hundred cheering us on.  This past weekend I saw guys PR their snatch at 135 and proceed to get multiple, solid reps. I saw ladies who had never snatched more than a barbell make it through 60 reps with ease. I see energy  and excitement within our members. I see everyone fighting for every single rep and not giving up. They stick around the gym for two and half hours to cheer on others even if they aren’t competing. We really are building community through The Open. Even more exciting, I’m starting to see the fire in some of them. They are already talking about what they can do to improve in the next year to give it a real go in 2013. Love it.

Sure, I have my doubts about how everyone runs their Open wods. I don’t think I’m going out on a limb saying there are people who are not sticking to standards and letting things fly that will not come April, May and especially in July. However, all that will be weeded out at regionals. You better come prepared.

I can’t even begin to tell you how amazing these first two weeks of The Open have been for me. I’m feeling good and confident. I’m sitting in eighth in the North Central region right now. I’m not stressed or worried. I’m working on weaknesses and getting stronger everyday. I PR’ed my thruster by 10 pounds yesterday. 165. It felt amazing. I’m building more and more confidence day by day.

I finished in 16th in WOD 2 with 90 reps. I gave myself thirty seconds for one attempt at 120. By the time I got my plates on it was just enough time to put my hands on the bar and pull. I failed. I wish I could have had about thirty more seconds to compose myself, get set and get one really good attempt in. 120 is a weight I feel extremely confident with even power snatching. It sure does feel a lot heavier after 90 snatches though! I watched so many people burn out early that I really tried to pace and not fatigue too fast. I have massive respect and admiration for those ladies that got into the 90+ range. Awesome work!

Three more weeks to go.